Crossbank Nature Reserve at the back of the inn is a unique Hotel amenity giving wildlife lovers the chance to indulge in a spot of bird watching, wildlife photography or just the quiet contemplation of nature. Begun as a simple hobby at the end of the eighties, and now over twenty years on, we have created a well established wildlife haven for a great variety of plants and animals.
Over eighty species of bird have been identified so far within or around the nature reserve. Permanent residents include a good variety of the more common waterfowl - plus occasional sightings of gadwall, shoveler, goosander and even the occasional pintail. Over the water you might glimpse the electric blue flash of the kingfisher, or of you are very lucky a perching bird, intently watching the water below. Snipe may be heard and, with patience, seen at the reeds edges as can the heron, whilst other more visually obliging waders include lapwing, redshank, oystercatcher, common sandpiper and curlew. In the trees and shrubs you will see and hear sedge and willow warbler, reed bunting, redpoll, siskin, spotted flycatchers, redstarts and many more common finches, chats and thrushes.
Land and water based animals in and around the reserve have included common frogs, toads and newts, roe deer, stoats, foxes and badgers. But by far and away our most exclusive, and most elusive, visitor has to be the otter, seen by just a fortunate few during these latter years. My only sighting was of two otters at five thirty one misty summers morning - so you'll have to rise early if you are going to be one of the lucky ones.
Fat Lamb Country Inn Ravenstonedale Kirkby Stephen CA17 4LL
015396 23242 Visit the Crossbank Nature Reserve website firstname.lastname@example.org
Disabled access : At the hotel there is w/c access. W/c access to the nature reserve only to the bird hide, no access on the N/R due to bridges and kissing gate. Opening Times : All year round